I think this is a great question.

I have never personally encountered this situation however it is an important topic. When the patient is under 18, it’s ultimately up to the parents to give the green light to proceed with fertility preservation. While they¬†should base their decision on what the patient wants, that may not always be the case. A discussion should be had to encourage the parents to consider what the child may want in the future, but some may still stand firm on their beliefs. Once the patient is over 18 they can make their own decision about what they want to do in regards to family planning, regardless of what their parents’ religious beliefs are.

It is my understanding that IVF is a process done after survivorship when the patient wants to start building a family and therefore, assuming the patient starts the process after turning 18, the parents legally have no say about what the patient can do. That’s only from the legal aspect though. I recognize family dynamics are hardly ever that cut and dry and many factors, including the beliefs of the parents, may affect decision-making. In cases where the parents of a minor refuse fertility preservation, there are other routes to having children such as adoption or surrogacy. Those other options should also be discussed with the patient and family to lay out all options.

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